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The Somatic Connection  |   October 2016
Japanese Massage Improves Shoulder Range of Motion in Elderly Patients With Late-Stage Parkinson Disease
Author Notes
  • University of California, San Diego School of Medicine 
Article Information
The Somatic Connection   |   October 2016
Japanese Massage Improves Shoulder Range of Motion in Elderly Patients With Late-Stage Parkinson Disease
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2016, Vol. 116, 683-684. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.133
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2016, Vol. 116, 683-684. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.133
Suoh S, Donoyama N, Ohkoshi N. Anma massage (Japanese massage) therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease in geriatric health services facilities: effectiveness on limited range of motion of the shoulder joint. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2016;20(2):364-372. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2015.11.008. 
The American Osteopathic Association has prioritized research to examine the benefits of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) in the management of Parkinson disease (PD) and has awarded research grants to evaluate this possibility.1 Gait characteristics and lack of mobility in patients with PD are commonly examined outcome measures used to evaluate the effects of OMT on patients with PD.2,3 Previously, researchers in Japan examined the effect of Anma massage on shoulder range of motion (ROM) in elderly patients with PD.4,5 This article, also from Japan, was selected for review because of its relevance to current OMT research and to highlight the synergy of the worldwide research effort in PD management. 
The patients (N=10) were aged 76 to 86 years and were all at stage 5 on the Hoehn and Yahr scale. All patients were residents in government-supported health service facilities for elderly persons. Exclusion criteria were patients who could not keep a balanced sitting position or who had severe dementia. 
Although ROM in the shoulder was the focus of this study, Anma massage was also applied to the cervical spine tissues, the back, and the lower extremities for a total of 30 to 40 minutes. The intervention was similar to a procedure used in a study that examined the effects of OMT on PD.2 The outcome measure, taken immediately after the intervention, was shoulder ROM measured by a goniometer for flexion, extension, and abduction of the shoulder joint. Six participants requested continuous treatment. For these patients, the intervention was performed once per week for 7 weeks, and outcome measures were taken at the end of this treatment period. 
The immediate effect of the intervention was significant for ROM expansion (P=.013). The patients who received continuous interventions also demonstrated a significant increase in ROM on the affected side (P=.004). 
Improved shoulder ROM is an enhancement in quality of life, mobility, and stability for individuals with PD. Current OMT research has the potential to demonstrate the benefits it can offer in PD management. 
References
Samano K. DOs, researchers awarded $1 million to conduct osteopathic research. The DO. June 22, 2016. http://thedo.osteopathic.org/2016/06/dos-researchers-awarded-1-million-to-conduct-osteopathic-research/. Accessed August 12, 2016.
Wells MR, Giantinoto S, D’Agate D, et al. Standard osteopathic manipulative treatment acutely improves gait performance in patients with Parkinson’s disease. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1999;99(2):92-98. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Yoritaka A, Shimo Y, Takahashi M, et al. Motor and non-motor symptoms of 1453 patients with Parkinson’s disease: prevalence and risks. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2013;19(8):725-731. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.04.001. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Donoyama N, Ohkoshi N. Effects of traditional Japanese massage therapy on various symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease: a case-series study. J Altern Complement Med. 2012;18(3):294-299. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0148. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Donoyama N, Suoh CS, Ohkoshi N. Effectiveness of Anma massage therapy in alleviating physical symptoms in outpatients with Parkinson’s disease: a before-after study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014;20(4):251-261. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2014.07.010. [CrossRef] [PubMed]